Hawaiʻi Region

Statewide Policy

Make Your Voice Heard

Our elected officials need to hear from you! Engaging your elected officials is one of the most important ways that you can help protect the coastlines of Hawaiʻi. The 2023 statewide legislative session will begin in January. Sign up below to receive action alerts and policy updates. Learn more about how to testify and make your voice heard.

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Clean Water

Surfrider’s Clean Water Initiative strives to protect water quality in local waterways and reduce ocean pollution so it is safe to surf, swim, and play in the ocean.

Our priority water quality bills for 2023 include:

1. **SB508 & HB182 – Improve Testing & Public Notification at Hawaii Beaches (Region wide) – The Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) runs a beach monitoring program and issues advisories when bacteria levels exceed the health standard. Our policy priorities for 2021 focus on improving water quality monitoring across the state, updating the tiering/prioritization of monitored beaches to be more equitable (and not concentrated in resort areas), and continuing regular beach monitoring schedule when Brown Water Alerts are issued.

2. HB181 & SB426 – Accelerate cesspool conversion timeline and implement the recommendations of the Cesspool Working Group. Priority 1 Cesspools would be converted by 2030 and Priority 2 cesspools by 2035.

Coastal Preservation

Surfrider’s Coastal Preservation Initiative focuses on protecting our sandy shorelines for current and future generations.

Our priority coastal preservation bills for 2023 include:

1. Support coastal preservation and policies that ensure long term protection of our sandy beaches. In particular, our efforts are focused on bills that limit emergency shoreline hardening permits, support managed retreat and moving away from the shoreline, and promote climate change/sea level rise considerations throughout state and county agencies.

**(HIGH PRIORITY!) SUPPORT: HB756 & SB1032 – Requires the state to develop a managed retreat program, facilitate voluntary relocation of residential development away from areas at risk of sea level rise, and establish the sea level rise relocation special fund. 

SUPPORT: SB1390 & HB1092 – Managed retreat pilot program on the North Shore of Oʻahu

SUPPORT: SB1389 & HB1091 – Mandatory disclosure of all existing permitted and unpermitted shoreline erosion control structures.

SUPPORT: SB1391 & HB1093 – Authorizes the BLNR to place a lien on property for noncompliance with administrative enforcement action

SUPPORT: SB1026Requires the state to use eminent domain to buyout 22 parcels of land from Rocky Point to Sunset Beach; appropriates $60 million for the buyouts.

OPPOSE: SB69 / HB770 – seeks to eliminate oversight of development and re-development in the special management area and undermine the County of Mauiʻs proposed coastal setback rules that seek to base setbacks on future sea level rise modeling.

Beach Access

Surfrider’s believes that all people have the right to access the beach.

Our priority beach access bills for 2023 include:

1. **Ala Wai Parking –SB1034 / HB1189 – Maintains 300 free parking stalls at the Ala Wai Boat Harbor

Other Priority Bills

1. Green Constitutional Amendment – SB635 / HB444 – secure for all people the Constitutional recognition and protection of their inalienable rights to pure water, clean air, and healthy ecosystems including climate

2. Statewide Visitor Green Fee – Establishes within the Department of Land and Natural Resources a visitor green fee program to collect a fee to allow visitors to visit a state park, beach, state-owned forest, hiking trail, or other state-owned natural area. Establishes the environmental legacy commission to allocate the revenues from the visitor green to protect and manage Hawaii’s natural resources. 

  • SB304 / HB1162 – Visitor License
  • SB1349 / HB1051 – Governorʻs Package